Silhouette, Uncategorized

Silhouette Blades Info & Tips

I always recommend having at least one extra blade and mat on hand just in case. Speaking from personal experience that there is nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a big project and things aren’t cutting well.

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To extend the life on your cutting blade, I recommend having a separate blade for each material you cut. I find this works well and is the same concept as having separate fabric and paper scissors.
Each material will dull the blade at a different rate.
When all else fails and I cannot get a clean cut no matter the troubleshooting, I pop in a new blade and it makes a big difference.
I also have some tips for getting the most out of your cutting mat HERE.
These can extend the life, but sometimes you just need a new one.

And where do you store all these blades for each material?

This little thing is pretty handy and I don’t have my blades just rolling around on my workspace any longer.
Find this organizer on Amazon HERE

Let’s talk about some of the blades.

New blades

There are 2 new blades released in 2021. The new 1 mm manual blade is equivalent to the Premium blade and the 2 mm manual blade is the equivalent to the Deep Cut blade.

These 2 blades are designed for the Cameo 4, Cameo Plus, Cameo Pro, and Portrait 3 models and will fit directly in the Tool 1 (Carriage 1) housing on the machine.
They are NOT compatible with older machines.
They cut the same materials as the premium and deep cut blade would.

Check out more in depth details in this post here
New Type B Tools

Autoblades – Both Type A and Type B are in stock
What does that mean? Type A and Type B?

Type A is the Autoblade for the Cameo 3 or Portrait 2 machine models.

Type B is the Autoblade for the Cameo 4, Cameo 4 Plus, Cameo 4 Pro, and Portrait 3 machine models.
These blades have a different housing style with the Tool recognition and do not fit in the older model machines.

You can see these 2 blades have some differences just in the looks of them. The Type B blade has an area on the front where the hooks on the lock for the Cameo 4 models or Portrait 3 models grab the blade.

But you are not just limited to those blades.

I started with Silhouette before there were many options of blades and my first blade was what most call the “ratchet” blade. It’s technical name if you are searching for it is “Silhouette blade” or sometimes you’ll see “Silhouette replacement blade”.

It is called a “ratchet” blade because you turn the bottom of the blade to “ratchet” the blade depth and adjust it.

Note: In the v4.4 software you will now see all blades that are adjusted manually called “Manual” blade vs the older term “ratchet” blade.

Two things to know about this blade.
There is a specific way to install it for the best cutting results.

After you have adjusted the bottom of the blade so the red line is lined up with the correct blade depth number, place the blade in the machine housing.
The fin of the blade should be at the 6 o’clock position and there should be no gap between the lip on the blade and the housing.

The next thing to note is that if you are a Cameo 4 model or Portrait 3 owner, you will need an adapter to use this style of blade. This “ratchet” blade uses the black adapter.

These adapters have been out of stock for awhile, but hopefully will be restocked soon. But, with the new 1 mm tool options released, those will slide right into the Tool 1 (Carriage 1) housing as well. So if you don’t have the adapters, I would try those new blades out.

There are a few more blade types out there as well for different materials.
The Premium blade is the older style blade that is made out of a Tungsten alloy (high performance) metal.
The Deep Cut blade cuts thicker materials and has blade depth from 1-20.
The 2 mm Kraft blade also cuts thicker materials and extends up to 2 mm. This blade has a broad tip on it and works more like an exacto knife versus a Deep Cut blade.

The black Silhouette blade, Premium blade, Deep Cut blade, and 2 mm Kraft blade can be used in all Silhouette Cameo, Portrait, and Curio machines.
The Curio will need the firmware updated on the machine in order to have access to the Kraft cut and 2 mm Kraft blade.
If using these blades in the Cameo 4 or Portrait 3, they do require an adapter as mentioned above.

As new blades have been released, this Tungsten alloy (high performance) metal has now been used for the following blades:
Autoblade Type B – Cameo 4 model & Portrait 3
Autoblade Type A – Cameo 3 & Portrait 2 models
New! 1 mm Manual blade
New! 2 mm Manual blade
Premium blade
Deep Cut blade

What this means is that all the blades listed above are now made with the exact same metal.
A Tungsten alloy (high performance) metal.

This is great news as we move forward in our Silhouette journeys.
No one likes changes, but they happen and sometimes they are for the best!
New blades – new metals – high performance!

For the Cameo 4 – Carriage 2, there are 3 additional tools.

3 mm Kraft blade for thicker materials.

Again, it works more like an exacto knife and does not do sharp corners or intricate cuts well.
I have cut high quality leather with the 3 mm Kraft blade.
Here are a few of the finished projects I’ve cut while testing.

Cutting Leather Class available HERE

Find the Cutting Leather with the Cameo 4 & 3 mm Kraft blade on my Teachable site HERE.

I’ve also had success cutting chipboard with it.
These shapes were cut with a series of passes with the 3 mm Kraft blade with varying blade depths.

These specialty blade do take some time and testing as not all designs work well.

Check out more tips on cutting with the 3 mm Kraft blade HERE
15+ Tips for the Silhouette Kraft blade

Rotary blade for cutting fabrics and crepe paper.

For tips on cutting fabric check out this post HERE.

Or this post for more details on cutting crepe paper HERE.

and the Punch Tool
Which is not really a blade, but used to “mark” the material with a small hole to designate where to weed.

What blades do I prefer?

Personally, I use them ALL!

When the Autoblade first came out, I found it annoying with it’s “tap dance” to adjust the blade depth. And I was so used to manually adjusting my blade, that I could do it faster than the machine could. However, over time, I got used to it. That whole “change” thing can be hard for all.
But, now, I set it and forget it.
I send my project to cut and I go about doing something else while it does.
No more taking the blade in and out.

There are 2 BIG things that affect the Autoblade adjusting properly.

#1 – Having the blade installed properly!

If the blade is not installed properly with no gap and adjusting properly, you WILL have cut issues.
This is an important step no matter what blade type you are using. If you have a gap between the lip of the blade and the housing, you will most likely experience inconsistent cut results.

This is how the blade should be installed on a
Cameo 4, Cameo Plus, Cameo Pro, or Portrait 3.

Cameo Pro model in the photo

There should be absolutely no gap between the lip of the blade and the housing.
AND the lock on the front of the blade needs to be pushed in completely.

#2 – Is it hitting the adjustment holes properly?

For those using the Autoblade watch as the machine does it’s “tap dance” at the beginning of the cut, does the red line inside the blade adjust properly and to the correct number?

If it does not, we can start troubleshooting it with a photo of the blade installed with the cutting mat or vinyl loaded if you post on the Silhouette Secrets+ Facebook group or check out this video by Silhouette America on Cutting Machine Maintenance and how to Reset the Motor at 4:38 in the video. This should reset the housing so that it is properly aligned to hit the adjustment holes correctly.

If the blade is still not adjusting properly after that, then more troubleshooting may be needed.

If you are always cutting the same materials with the same settings, you can also change the Tool on the Send tab in the software to a “manual” blade (ratchet in older software versions) and then manually set the blade. This means that the blade will NOT adjust itself, but it will stay at the blade you place it at.

We love seeing what you are creating with your Silhouette machines or software.
Feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at 
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.

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Or if you are looking for more in-depth, step-by-step classes, check out all of my online Silhouette classes on my Teachable site HERE.

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**This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher but I may get compensated for sharing.

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